BMW INPA diagnostics an idiots guide to getting started.
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  1. #1
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    BMW INPA diagnostics an idiots guide to getting started.

    This is an idiots guide for INPA! It is "NOT" for people to say "oooh!! it's cheaper doing it this way or it's easy and cheaper using a modded vagcom cable, or a USB interface etc etc!!" It's just a guide for the simplest and easiest way to hook your car up and diagnose with INPA for the beginner.

    1. The absolute simplest way to connect to your OBD2 compliant car or ADS car is via the way it was designed for in the beginning, and that is via a serial port connection with a INPA compatible serial interface/lead..

    2. You can connect to your OBD2 car solely in ADS mode you do not need OBD mode (the cutdown INPA version 63mb on the net is an ADS only version and it is all you need for either type of system if you are using a serial interface and connection)

    3. You need an INPA compatible double kkline serial interface cable..

    4. An older type cheapo laptop or any laptop with a serial port preferably with XP loaded.

    5. A copy of INPA/EDIABAS software cutdown version @ 63MB works fine on OBD2 or ADS cars.

    6. If your car is pre OBD2 it will be either a crossover car which has both 20 pin round socket under the bonnet and 16 pin OBD2 in the cabin by your right knee or solely the 20 pin round under the bonnet (ADS socket)

    7. If you have solely the 20 pin round socket under the bonnet and or pin 15 is populated? this is a fully ADS car not OBD2..

    8. An ADS car you need an ADS adaptor interface or an ADS/OBD switchbox to access all the cars modules

    9. You cannot connect to all modules on an ADS car with the cheap 20 pin (ADS) round to 16 pin OBD2 adaptors like that are sold on Ebay..

    10. USB interfaces can be and will be more problematic for the INPA beginner plus USB interfaces will NOT connect with INPA set in ADS mode…

    11. You can access all modules, fault code read with INPA, including ABS, airbags, engine ECU, parking sensors and do live diagnostics via a GUI screen and reset codes, airbags and adaptions etc etc

    12. No serial port on your laptop? PCMCIA to serial port adaptors or USB to serial port adaptors can be made to work, but again can be seriously problematic for an INPA beginner…

    So to sum up if your car is a pre OBD2 car and has a 20 pin round socket under the bonnet with pin 15 present you will need:
    A cheap laptop with a serial port and XP loaded.
    A basic cutdown version of INPA in ADS mode 63MB in size
    An ADS serial interface or an ADS/OBD serial switchbox interface like below…



    If your car is OBD2 you will need..
    A cheap laptop with serial port and XP loaded
    A basic cutdown version of INPA in ADS mode
    An OBD2 BMW INPA compatible serial interface double Kline type..like below.(.NOTE the 20 pin round ADS adaptor in the kit may connect to some modules but not all of them on ADS cars, it is “NOT” a full ADS interface!!)



    There are other ways to connect and other versions of INPA with different interface combinations etc etc ..this guide is not for that it's just an idiot's guide for a basic DIY’er whose just found out about INPA and is the easiest and most basic way to get started.

    Feel free to comment if I have omitted anything or you have something to add…I shall add to it or edit if I remember anything more of use.

    A small update: If you are looking for cheaper robust laptops for your INPA setup? then some older IBM's fit the bill, but IBM laptops stopped having serial ports at the T30 model, models after the T30 still have the architecture for a serial port internally, but no external serial port, but if you connect it to a suitable IBM port replicator dock (very cheap these days on Ebay) you then have a fully functioning serial port on the dock ready for INPA...

    An example: I now have a second setup of INPA fully functioning on an IBM T42 which is docked on a port replicator like below..



    If you have any problems with your INPA setup then please post up your questions in this thread, that way we can all learn from the experience and ensures the maximum exposure for a swift response and solution to your issue.
    Last edited by Kevin Whittaker; 24-06-2013 at 22:47. Reason: Update

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  3. #2
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    Brilliant post and as I've decided to dip a toe into the water and finally get myself hooked up with INPA I just wanted to ask your advice.
    I think I have managed to blag an old laptop with 9 pin serial port from work (they have no real value to a lot of people any more).
    Provided the cable doesn't come with (working..) software I am happy to drop you a PM for this.
    My big question though is what cable to go for to work with my ADS (checked earlier and pin 15 is indeed present) E36 as there are so bloody many on Ebay and @jim 320d was not able to get his INPA to talk to mine at the Leicester meet - an outcome I don't wish to replicate myself.


    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by E36 TDS; 08-02-2013 at 16:52.

  4. #3
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    Vagcom KKL with no mods required and a 16 pin to 20 pin adapter will at least access engine, body electronics, central locking, cruise and some others (at least on 6 cylinder petrol)
    Last edited by e36coupe-328; 08-02-2013 at 21:05.
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    Quote Originally Posted by e36coupe-328 View Post
    Vagcom KKL with no mods required and a 16 pin to 20 pin adapter will at least access engine, body electronics, central locking, cruise and some others
    wot he sez for ya basic diags 9 times out of 10 that is engine ECU anyway then the cheaper obd2 to pacman setup will suffice if ya wanna connect to every mortal module on the car which ya prolly never gonna want to connect to realistically but might who knows? then ya need the more expensive ADS switchbox interface..

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  8. #5
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    Sure it was a Vagcom KKL which Jim used at the Leicester meet unsuccessfully (maybe modified, can't recall now though)

    I reckon this might do the trick then;

    BMW INPA OBD & ADS Compatible Interface

    Not cheap, but it's the only one I've found so far and would cover all bases.
    These things can pay for themselves in no time (hopefully) due to not wasting money on incorrectly diagnosed faulty parts anyway, so viewed like that it's money well spent.
    Last edited by E36 TDS; 08-02-2013 at 22:46.

  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by E36 TDS View Post
    Not cheap
    this is cheaper and comes with easy to install software
    BMW & Mini Diagnostic Cable - Black Edition And 20 Pin Adaptor BM Technic | BMW Diagnostic Cable | BMW Diagnostic Software

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAYNO View Post
    thats still not an ADS interface anything on a USB interface is not full ADS compatible the advert is missleading...

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  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dailydoggy View Post
    thats still not an ADS interface
    so what will i not be able to do with out an ADS

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    Quote Originally Posted by PAYNO View Post
    so what will i not be able to do with out an ADS
    you cannot connect to all the modules on the car without an ADS interface not seen a definitive list of wot ya can and cant connect to but there are a couple of lists flying about that claim to be accurate...

    depends wot you want to do the basic shit the cheap adaptor version is fine, if ya wanna go real deep then ya fucked without an ADS interface...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dailydoggy View Post
    depends wot you want to do the basic shit the cheap adaptor
    just look at fault codes and re set them to scared of fucking the car up to do any thing else

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